Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From - Are You Aware You Can Vote to Change NY's Constitution This Year

There is a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. Have you heard of Proposition 1? Probably not, because the local media have completely ignored it.

Here is the text of the proposition question:

The proposed amendment to Articles IV and VII of the Constitution would change the process for enactment of the state budget by:

(a) providing for a contingency budget if the Legislature does not act on the Governor’s appropriation bills before the start of the fiscal year;

(b) placing limits on the amount of spending during such contingency period;

(c) once such contingency period begins, eliminating the requirement that the Legislature act on the Governor’s proposed appropriation bills, and instead authorizing the Legislature to end the contingency period by adopting a multiple appropriation bill making changes to the contingency budget, subject to line item veto by the Governor; and

(d) authorizing the Legislature, subject to veto by the Governor, to modify the spending limits for future contingency budgets, except that such changes cannot take effect until three years after enactment.


The proposed amendment also sets forth certain requirements for the operation of a fiscal stabilization reserve fund, from which money could be disbursed in a subsequent year. It would require estimates and information provided by state departments to the Governor for use in preparing the budget to be available to the public.

It would provide a date certain by which the Governor must submit a budget and appropriations bills to the Legislature. It would reduce the time the Governor has to make changes to the budget and appropriations bills submitted to the Legislature without the Legislature’s consent from thirty days to twenty-one days.

Shall the proposed amendment be approved? Before I weigh in, you can read the following:

League of Women Voters
Common Cause of New York

New York Public Policy Institute
Ray Keating in Newsday
New York Daily News
New York Post

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